They say once you learn to ride a bike, you never forget. You get that basic skill down, and then you always know how to do it. The same kind of mentality goes for teaching your kid any basic skill. Now, I'm not saying potty training is just like getting them to tie their shoes, but some of the essential ideas and methods - dare I call them mantras? -- to teach your kiddo life skills are the same no matter what you are teaching them.
-- Do your research. Read, ask other moms, ask your mom, talk with your husband, of course, read and ask the awesome ladies her on CafeMom about what you are about to embark upon, like ideas on reward charts or what to call the laces beyond bunny ears. Getting hints and ideas before you kick off an event is great as it gives you other options if the ones you try first don't work.
-- Remind yourself your kiddo may mess up...and that is ok. They are little. They haven't done these things before. From buttoning his shirt wrong to spilling a glass at the dinner table, remember they are going to not get it right every time. We don't...why should we expect them to? Check your expectations at the door.
-- Remember the tricks. From coming up with a song on or an idea on what to imagine when they are trying to visualization, imagination, creative thinking, fun words to describe the action can all help the kids learn and retain the know-how of these skills.
-- Be consistent. This is huge. If one day you let him get dressed himself or eat with a regular cup, keep that going. Switching back and forth does let him learn and get that muscle (and mind) memory going, doesn't let him figure his own little tricks to getting it done for himself. It really can speed up the learning curve.
What have you found always works when try to teach your kids a healthy habit?